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European Frog-bit

Photo by Meghan Johnstone, APIPP

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Common Name: European frog-bit
Scientific Name: Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
Origin: Europe


European frog-bit is a free-floating annual. The leaves are leathery and round with undersides that may be dark purple. White flowers with yellow centers bloom in the summer. The leaf stem of European frog-bit lacks a midline groove which distinguishes it from its native look-alike American frog-bit, Limnobium spongia.


This plant grows well in quiet, open water including marshes, ditches, swamps, and sheltered coves.


European frog-bit has rapid vegetative spread and forms dense mats, which can limit light penetration and inhibit recreational use.


Limited information exists about control techniques for this species. Hand pulling may be suitable to control individual plants or small infestations.

Distribution: View Map

This organism is found in the Finger Lakes region.

Invasive Rank